by Rien Bul
Of course Weng Shun Kuen is a style. But it should be considered a ‘system’ in the first place. Instead of saying "We punch like this, we kick like that", a system hands you a strategy to follow. This strategy can be drilled into a set of habits so one does not have to think, but immediately react with the required action. If you have to think first, you will be too late. By applying a system you will become much faster.
The idea is to control every possible aspect of a hostile confrontation. Weng Shun Kuen is literally the most systemised approach to self defense possible. A practitioner aims to take total control of an opponent, and at limiting all his motions. In a way the system even enables a practitioner to control time itself, seemingly speeding it up into a incomprehensable blur to the opponent while slowing it down in its practitioners perception. Here is how it works:
When an opponent attacks he has certain expectations of the events that will probably follow. He, for example, starts hitting at the practitioner’s face from a certain distance and he will have a certain idea of when his fist is going to hit the target. But if the WSK practitioner steps in on the punch he will un-expectedly close in on the fist. According to the theory of relativity the speed of fist travelling to the point of impact will double and it will reach it at just half of the expected time. Are you with me so far?
But then, halfway across the distance the fist was supposed to travel to the intented point of impact, it suddenly clashes with the Weng Shun Kuen practitioner’s hand (Man Sao), that unexpectedly hits it from the side, taking it from its original straight path. This happens at approximately half of the distance that was already split in half, thus splitting it in half again. So the fist strikes something in a fourth of the time the opponent originally intented it to hit its target. To the opponent this comes as a surprise, while the practitioner knew this beforehand. The opponent will have to keep adapting to the newly unfolding situation and to things going much faster than anticipated. The Weng Shun Kuen practitioner sticks to what he’s trained at for years. To him, things could not be more clear and comprehensable.
From this point on the practitioner ‘sticks’ to the opponent like glue. Every change in direction will be felt immediately, every new movement cut short before it has a chance to start.
This, of course, is a description of the most ideal situation, how things ‘should’ go. And if you have any experience in fighting you will know this hardly ever happens. What, for instance, could go wrong in the situation as described above? Well, an opponent’s first attack could be just a ‘jab’ and contacting it with a man sao could be difficult. In this situation a WSK practitioner is taught to close the gap to the opponent as fast as possible. Another thing that can go wrong is the opponent hitting much faster than expected, so the practitioner’s timing might be ‘off’ or when the opponent hits straight through the practitioner’s Man Sao, making it collapse. In such a case the Weng Shun Kuen practitioner moves his elbow upward, thus creating the movement known as Bong Sao or Wing Arm. Bong Sao is truly a strange experience when it is used against you. You don’t find out your hit has missed before it is far too late and the trap has already shut. You feel like you are still hitting, while in reality you are purposely led to your doom by the Weng Shun Kuen practitioner. So a false sense of success and safety is created. And, indeed, a false perception of time.